Updated: Aug 2, 2021
Greg Simpson joined PA in 2002 as an Electrical Apprentice, this is Greg’s Apprenticeship story…
My family background was very much involved in engineering which including manufacturing and surveying across the aviation industry and lifting equipment.
My personal passion in my final years of school were around electrical / electronic equipment and I saw an Apprenticeship as an opportunity to gain hands on experience, academic qualifications as well as earning a wage.
My first 9 months were spent at an off-site engineering training centre located in Stockport where hands on skills were put to practice across both mechanical and electrical tasks. This built great confidence and understanding in how a manufacturing business would operate and gave me the tools required to perform my duties as a product electrician here at PA.
When returning to PA I spent the first 2-3 years moving around the business spending 2 months at a time in each area of the business to get an understanding of how our products are ordered / designed / manufactured / assembled / tested and installed at customers’ sites all around the U.K.
During the 4 year apprenticeship I studied on day release at Stockport College to obtain, in the first two years, an ONC qualification and, in the final 2 years, a HNC qualification in electrical / electronic engineering.
When I completed my Apprenticeship, I had obtained an academic HNC qualification along with an NVQ level 3 in electrical wiring and installation.
What I found most rewarding was being given the tools and guidance to obtain an academic qualification along with hands on experience in electrical engineering. Not to mention that all the training was provided and paid for by PA and getting paid myself during the process.
Due to the level of confidence and consistent performance I showed, I was soon trusted as a valuable member of the team to support with on-site installation / commissioning and service tasks around the U.K. and across the world.
If you are thinking about taking the Apprenticeship route and there is an Apprenticeship specific to your chosen industry / career, then my advice would always be to go for it. You meet great people, and many become great friends inside and outside of work. I have no regrets at all with the decision I made 18.5 years ago and would have done nothing different. Where else can your academic / on the job training be provided for free whilst being personally paid at the same time.
Now in 2021 I am an Export Project Engineer and work primarily with our Agents and Distributors, I am responsible for most of the equipment destined for factories around the world, having built mutually beneficial relationships with our contacts abroad.